NAIROBI (Reuters) - Twice London marathon champion Mary Keitany will not compete this year because she is expecting her second child, a close friend of the Kenyan runner said on Wednesday.
Keitany, 31, won the London Marathon in 2011 and 2012 but did not defend the title last month. In her absence compatriot Prisca Jeptoo finished first.
"Mary will be away from athletics this year due to pregnancy. That's why she missed London," the friend told Reuters.
Keitany, a mother of a five-year-old child, will be the second top Kenyan female athlete to miss this August's Moscow world championships due to pregnancy.
Earlier on Wednesday, Keitany's compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot, a double world champion who also won silver (5,000) and bronze (10,000) during last year's London Olympics, announced she was expecting her first child and would not compete in Moscow.
Both Keitany and Cheruiyot train in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, which is home to some of the world's best middle and distance runners.
Keitany, who won the 2012/1013 World Marathon Majors, a circuit of the globe's most lucrative and prestigious marathons was a hot favourite for last year's London Olympics marathon gold medal but finished only fourth.
(Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by John Mehaffey)